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For Immediate Release
February 23, 2004

Media Contact:
Dale Didion, Ph. 202-255-1122
Michael Straus, 415-777-1170
Michael@StrausCom.com

Finding Organic Products Just Got Easier
NewFarm.org's "Farm Locator" database brings together farmers & consumers

Kutztown, PA - This week The New Farm® website (www.newfarm.org) launched the Farm Locator™, a free Internet-based tool that provides farmers the ability to attract consumers and gives consumers a fast and convenient method to identify producers of organic products.

The Farm Locator allows farmers to build personalized web pages, allowing potential customers such as chefs, food brokers, farmer's market operators and other farmers to easily find and contact them. Furthermore, the Farm Locator makes it easy to find quality agricultural products by allowing users to create searches based on specific farm products, keywords, zip codes and preferred travel distances, mail order and other marketing methods.

The Farm Locator is a critical element needed to support the rapid expansion of organic production in the United States.

“What we were finding is that producers of organic products were having difficulty accessing markets. In some cases, producers were unknowingly located within just a few miles from potential customers,” stated Chris Hill, editor of The New Farm website.
“For example,” Hill explained, “farmers needing organic grains and hay to feed to their dairy cattle producing high quality, high value organic milk could not find ready access to these products. The Farm Locator was developed to fill this market vacuum. This is perhaps the single most in-demand tool needed by producers today.”

Last year, The Rodale Institute® and The New Farm® created The New Farm Organic Price Index™ (OPX™). Available at NewFarm.org, OPX provides producers and consumers with current weekly pricing for organic products. With a grant from the USDA, the OPX is currently being expanded to offer pricing data on fruits, vegetables, and commodities representing 15 regions across the United States.

“We have worked hard over the years to provide research and share knowledge regarding successful organic and sustainable farming techniques,” stated Anthony Rodale, chairman of The Rodale Institute®.

“The combination of Farm Locator™ and OPX™ will help farmers and ultimately consumers get the best quality food at the best price,” he added.

The Rodale Institute (TRI) is a not-for-profit educational and research organization committed to sharing information globally about successful agricultural solutions to health and environmental problems. TRI has worked for 60 years to establish and share knowledge about how to achieve a regenerative food system that renews and improves environmental and human health. TRI engages in and supports a wide variety of scientific trials and experiments of regenerative farming methods in the United States, Senegal, Japan, and elsewhere throughout the world. In 2003, Anthony Rodale announced the single-most ambitious agricultural initiative of this century, calling for 100,000 farmers, about 5% of America’s remaining 2 million farmers, to transition to Certified Organic by 2013. For additional information, visit us at www.rodaleinstitute.org and www.newfarm.org, and our site for children, www.kidsregen.org.

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  For more information about The Rodale Institute®, NewFarm.org and related programs, please visit www.newfarm.org, www.rodaleinstitute.org, www.kidsregen.org, or contact Michael Straus, (415) 777-1170, Michael@strauscom.com. Also, visit www.newfarm.org/pressroom.
     
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